It’s inevitable and we’ve all experienced it: the exceptionally underwhelming makeup purchase that leaves a lovely hole in our bank accounts. In the grand scheme of things, that buying blunder isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s definitely annoying and a bit disappointing. I’ve spoken before about how many makeup brand’s advertising makes it very, very difficult to believe that one of their products could be lacking in quality – and when we eventually experience our first disaster, it’s hard to trust the brand and the advertising again. So, where does that leave us consumers? No one wants to waste money, and contributing to the pile of products being bought that we can’t return and won’t use is awful for the environment. Luckily, there are plenty of beauty bloggers out there to help us along the way, and hopefully I can provide an honest and detailed, yet fair, assessment of some of the industry’s leading products and dark horses.
The title of this blogpost was inspired by a video created by one of my all-time favourite YouTuber’s, Mariah Leonard (this is a link to her video, by the way – ‘Makeup I Would NOT Buy If I Had To Start Over‘).
As soon as I watched Mariah’s video, I immediately started to think about my own collection, and see which products I own that I may like but never use, or even think are completely rubbish, and would not repurchase again. Even though I prefer my blogposts to lead with a positive tone, I love these kind of blogposts/videos because, as a viewer, you get a super clear cut assessment of a product, how it works for someone and their personal preferences, and have your time and money saved.
Quick disclaimer: these products are not BAD, they just don’t suit my preferences personally. If you love these products, that’s absolutely fine – makeup works differently on everybody, and that’s really important to remember while reviewing and watching/reading reviews.
FENTY BEAUTY ‘PASTEL FROST’ SNAP SHADOWS EYESHADOW PALETTE
The first product I would not repurchase if I started my collection again would be the super colourful 6-pan Pastel Frost eyeshadow palette by Fenty Beauty. I specifically bought this palette because I was ready to step outside by comfort zone of neutral browns, rosy tones and warm shades, and experiment with bold colours for the first time. I reviewed four of the eight original Snap Shadows palettes a few months ago, and I can’t even remember what my thoughts were on Pastel Frost at the time. The shadows are very thin, and even though this could be seen as a good thing for people who are tentative when it comes to bright colours, the formula actually makes it exceptionally difficult to apply the shadows to the eyes. I personally found the colours don’t pack enough punch, and end up looking washed out and a bit ‘meh’…and that’s coming from someone who loves natural, subtle makeup.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY ‘PILLOW TALK’ BEAUTY LIGHT WAND
I definitely haven’t shied away from criticising some of Charlotte Tilbury’s products in the past, but don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the brand. However, for people new to her range, I can see how the marketing can be overwhelming as everything is ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’. Charlotte’s got a lot of brilliant products, some of which I use on a day-to-day basis (such as the Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder, the Pillow Talk Luxury Palette and the Beauty Light Wand in the shade Spotlight).
When I heard Charlotte Tilbury were coming out with a new Beauty Light Wand shade in Pillow Talk, I was ecstatic. I love the Pillow Talk range and I was really excited about the idea of having a pink toned version of the Spotlight cream highlighter, which I use nearly every time I do my makeup. However, I have fair skin, and even though the reflect was super bright, the base tone was SO DARK – shocking so, considering the marketing images. I was honestly quite surprised and disappointed at just how dark the base tone was since Charlotte Tilbury launched a light and a medium/deep version of the Pillow Talk wand – I was expecting the lighter version to suit all skin tones that are deemed to be light, just like the Spotlight one does. It was, unfortunately, a complete waste of money, and I probably wouldn’t recommend this shade to anybody who’s skin is lighter than that of a tan complexion.
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS MATTE LIPSTICKS
There are so many fantastic matte lipsticks on the market – you do not need to settle for a formula that isn’t perfect!!! Personally, even though I can get them to work and look nice, I find that the traditional style matte lipsticks (as opposed to the matte liquid lipsticks) from Anastasia Beverly Hills are pretty dry and most of the colours are quite dark for light complexions (of course, this isn’t a problem if you have a deeper complexion or love richer tones for day-to-day use). Even though I did mention two of the colours in My 20 Favourite Everyday Lipsticks post, and I do quite like them, I’ve since tried the Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipsticks, which, in my opinion, have a much better formula and range of colours. Ultimately, whether you like the Anastasia matte lipsticks depends on whether the formula isn’t too dry for you and you like the shade range, but for me I think there are better options that I can choose from. I’ll most likely do a revised list of my favourite everyday lipsticks next year.
theBALM ‘MARY LOU MANIZER’ HIGHLIGHTER
I wasn’t sure about whether or not I should bother talking about this highlighter because it’s been around for years, and I bet most people either own it or have tried it and have their opinions formed. But, then again, it’s known as an industry classic, meaning people are more likely to buy it, especially if they don’t know the beauty market in-depth, and so I thought it would be worth mentioning.
The colour is gorgeous in the pan and it has a super creamy feel when swatched – and here lies the problem. The intensity of the colour and the creaminess of the formula, makes this highlighter exceptionally cakey when applied on my cheekbones. It kind of leaves a streak when the sunlight isn’t reflecting the product, and I find it just makes my makeup look too thick and obvious, if that makes sense. I know this product is still a classic staple for so many people, and so it must work beautifully for them, but it’s not my favourite. I still keep the mirror from the lid for applying eyeshadow though haha.
URBAN DECAY ‘NAKED CHERRY’ EYESHADOW PALETTE
I actually think this is my friends favourite palette, and I feel so bad for mentioning it! The Urban Decay Naked 3 was my first ever eyeshadow palette, and I remember being absolutely over the moon when I got it. (Actually makes me feel quite emotional lol). However, ultimately, formulas improve and, unfortunately, sometimes brands fall behind the pack and take a while to catch up. I haven’t yet tried some of Urban Decay’s newer releases, such as the Stoned Vibes palette, but generally speaking I’ve found their palettes to be either a bit lacklustre, or to have a confusing and/or incomplete colour story. I’ve really had some fun with the Heat palette, and I do quite like the Cherry one, BUT, I feel as though the latter palette is missing at least one neutral brown shade that would make it more versatile for everyday AND glam/nighttime use. I do like the Cherry palette and I’ll use it more, but because of this reason, I don’t think I’ll purchase it again as there are plenty of other purple palettes on the market. In fact, I would probably recommend the Fenty Beauty Rose Snap Shadows palette over the Urban Decay Cherry one. Even though this palette, too, is missing a neutral brown shade, the Natasha Denona Love palette is another great alternative to the Naked Cherry palette: You get similar tones AND some extra fun and unusual colours.
I really hope this post was informative and helpful! Again, these are just my opinions and preferences, so please don’t think you’re making a mistake by loving a product that I’ve decided I wouldn’t repurchase! I love how diverse the makeup industry is and how it allows everyone to find products that work brilliantly for them and make each of us feel the best versions of ourselves. Let me know which products you won’t be repurchasing!